By Wes Weiner, Seven Seas Society Gold Member

We enjoyed another outstanding voyage aboard Seven Seas Mariner® to South America.

During our three week voyage, Ida and I embarked on a private pre-cruise adventure to Machu Picchu and visited desolate, but beautiful Paracus Nature preserve in Pisco. We toasted with Pisco Sours in Iquique and delicious Chilean wine in Valparaiso and went horseback riding in Puerto Montt before sailing the stunning Chilean Fjords. We touched Magellan’s toe (for good luck) in Punta Arenas and sailed to the bottom of the world, and then to Ushuaia where we hiked the Tierra Mayor and biked in Punta del Este before arriving in Buenos Aires.

As is true of every cruise we have been on, we made wonderful new friends, in particular Didier and Susie from New Zealand and Bermuda, and the service we received was absolutely exceptional.

FIVE DAYS IN MACHU PICCHU Words alone cannot describe the stunning beauty of these iconic Inca ruins. Our trip began with a luxurious train ride on the legendary Hiram Bingham from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Once we arrived at the entrance, Ida and I were astounded at the verdant beauty of these ancient ruins.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME We boarded Seven Seas Mariner in Lima, Peru after our Machu Picchu tour. This was our first cruise aboard this ship and we were immediately taken in by the beautiful and large social spaces: Coffee Connection, Observation Lounge, Pool deck and La Veranda. Seven Seas Mariner has become our new favorite ship. We were terribly smitten, so much so that we booked another 66 nights on her this October boarding in Miami sailing the South Pacific and ending up in Auckland, New Zealand.

SPECIAL VETERAN’S EVENT Our Cruise Director Paul Reynolds organized a wonderful get-together for armed services veterans in the Observation lounge. We had about 25 veterans ranking from Sergeant to Admiral sharing war and peace-time stories. Unbeknownst to us, the ship put together a commemorative “Regent Service Book” that was tabbed with almost every country’s armed service listed, which we later signed.

OUTSTANDING CREW I have a tradition on our voyages where I profile crew members. I find individuals who work behind-the-scenes that don’t often get told “Thank You” by guests to get to know them a little better. These hard working individuals generally work below the passenger decks and are equally instrumental in allowing us to enjoy our cruise. So, let’s meet our favorite superstar crew member we met along our journey:

LAUNDRY MASTER, JOE JAW The Laundry team works together to process more than 10,000 pieces of clothing for the crew and guests each week. The outstanding 11-person team all hail from Indonesia and are led by Ng “Joe” Jaw. Joe, the Laundry Master, joined Regent back in 2010. He and his wife of almost 24 years, Ling Ling, have three children (two girls and one boy). Joe is from Bintan Island, Indonesia. Joe’s favorite ship to serve on is Seven Seas Mariner. He likes the crew living area, and the camaraderie.

Joe and the rest of the crew aboard Seven Seas Mariner made this our most memorable vacation yet. We can’t wait to sail aboard her and be with our wonderful friends again.